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There’s a Storm Brewing

David North Posted:
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The plot thickens in Guild Wars 2, as the Flame and Frost storyline goes into the second act.  ArenaNet expands the Living Story, creating new challenges for players, and breathing more life into the world of Tyria. The first chapter in the Flame and Frost storyline kicked off last month revealing a dark shadow in the northern part of the world.  Act 2 continues offering some answers, but leaving more questions.

Spoiler alert on the details ahead!

The first act of the Flame and Frost had refugees fleeing from what seemed to be assaults from both the Dredge and the Flame Legion.  But the weird piece to the puzzle is the earth itself breaking apart, with powerful elementals coming out of the cracks.  Geysers caused a dark and powerful storm to brew in the north.  But how is this all connected?

Act 2 reveals a terrible truth.  The Charr and the Dredge are working together!  A new dynamic event shows red portals opening with Flame Legion and Dredge walking out attacking innocent citizens.  Players fight off waves while also trying to close the portals to stop the threat, but only for a while.

Underground the Flame Legion could gain access to powerful fire energies. That spells trouble for players!

Another event shows a Dredge drilling vehicle popping out of the ground with Dredge, and Flame Legion unloading like well-trained soldiers.  Much like the previously mentioned event, the waves of enemy invaders don’t stop until the source is destroyed.  Both events are very similar and show that two deadly forces are working together, or has the Flame Legion enslaved the Dredge?

The situation involving the refugees has also progressed.  They have moved into Lion’s Arch hoping to soon get back to a normal life.  Sadly, some won’t be able to move on, as very important and personal items have been lost during the attacks.  Players can find these items covered in snow or dirt.  Taking them to Lion’s Arch to find its owner helps bring a piece of mind to the refugees.

We now know that the Dredge and Flame Legion are in cahoots.  The magical power of the Flame Legion, combined with the mechanical efficiency of the Dredge, could spell out big trouble for the people of the north.  The Charr and Norn forces will have to come together in order stop this threat.  They would be crazy not to. This dark alliance seems to have the ability control the weather itself!

It will be tough to predict the direction the Living Story will take, but we seem to be seeing a pattern with these updates to the plotline.  Two new achievements are available for players to unlock, and the previous chapter to the plotline had one.  It seems that every installment could offer a new achievement.

Dynamic events are also something we’ve seen in both parts of the Flame and Frost storyline.  It’s a great way to help tell part of the story, and get the player directly involved.  But how large will these events be?  So far the events are a normal size, but we could see meta-events in the future.  Maybe that’s how they will end the large parts of the story.  Just imagine battling through a Dredge army, to get to powerful Flame Legion shaman creating a massive flame effigy!  Sounds like fun to me. But that's just speculation on my part.

What’s the end result of these plotlines?  So far they are used as a way to help introduce new features to Guild Wars 2.  While some of the smaller guilds are saving up influence for the missions, they can get together and take part in the new Living Story events.  But what will happen when a story-line ends?  Could the very landscape of the world change?  It’s possible that the Dredge and Flame Legion could cause a huge geyser, or maybe a volcano, to pop out of the ground!  Will we actually see the changes in the world around us, or will we have to use our imaginations as we read about them in NPC text boxes?

Not every player would be excited about a Kodan plush backpack. Adding in more playable content with features like this makes a wider range of players happy.

The Gathering Storm is a nice fun distraction from the normal adventuring activities.  The Living Story installments are more about evolving the world around the players, rather than adding in a ton of expansion-like content.  But at the moment we don’t know how large the Living Story plotline could be, and how far its reach will go.  Is it possible that it could change some of the territory control between races?  Could ArenaNet be using the Living Story as a lead-in to larger events and feature updates?  We will just have to see how these plotlines affect the world of Guild Wars 2.  Until then, let’s go slay some invaders!

How are you enjoying the Living Story?  Tell us what you think in the comments below.


David North